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Innovative Ceramic Membrane Reduces Energy and Cost of Industrial Gas Separation

Ceramic membranes offer great potential for industrial gas separation. Without a ceramic membrane, gases must be cooled before separation. Unfortunately, even though ceramic membranes can improve the productivity for many reactions and separations in the chemicals and refining industries, they are costly.

Media and Process Technology, Inc., with AMO support and industrial partners Gas Control Engineering Corporation, Southern California Gas, and the University of Southern California, developed a new technology that has overcome the cost barrier by using a low-cost, robust ceramic membrane. This membrane separates gases and vapors at temperatures up to 600°C. Significant energy savings are possible because cooling prior to gas separation can be eliminated and valuable components removed from the gas stream can be recycled.

Applications are targeted toward hydrogen production, water and energy recovery from flue gas, and CO2 removal in natural gas processing. In addition, this low-cost membrane is currently under consideration as a substrate for a wide range of thin films capable of industrial gas separations and is being used commercially without the gas separating layer for a wide range of liquid phase separations.

Media and Process Technology’s Ceramic Membrane Tubes and Elements

Impact of Commercialized Technology
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Energy Savings (Trillion Btu) 0.004 0.007 0.008 0.008 0.016 0.020 0.020
Emissions Reductions
(Thousand Tons)
Carbon 0.063 0.111 0.127 0.127 0.254 0.317 0.317
NOx 0.000 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.002 0.002
SOx 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Particulates 0 0 0 0 0 0 0



  • Developed in joint venture among Media and Process Technology, Inc., Gas Control Engineering Corporation (GCE), Southern California Gas, and the University of Southern California
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  • Commercialized in 2005 and being marketed by the Gas Technology Institute
  • Installed in five U.S. locations for recovery of water vapor and energy, with multiple units planned for future installations.


Can be used in natural gas processing, landfill gas recovery, hydrogen production, and water and energy recovery. Liquid phase separations are also possible. Can be used as low cost substrates for deposition of various membrane layers.



  • Separates gases and vapors at temperatures up to 600°C.
  • Simplifies chemical production processes.
  • Enhances conversion of chemical reactions.


Energy Savings

Allows gas separation at higher temperatures, eliminating the need to cool gases beforehand and therefore saving cooling energy.


Profitability and Productivity

Offers a low-cost material that reduces time and money spent for gas separation and allows valuable chemicals to be recycled rather than being disposed of.


Contact Information

Paul Liu
(412) 826-3711
Media and Process Technology, Inc.